An Erie Police officer was honored with the Jason Belton Award on Wednesday.

Sergeant Melanie Szoszorek with the City of Erie Police Department is being celebrated for her engagement with the community.

The award commemorates the work of Jason Belton, an Erie Police officer who died in October 2021. Belton was well known by the downtown community and committed to serving the people who live and work in the City of Erie.

Szoszorek said she was long-time friends with Jason Belton and she was inspired by his relationships with city residents.

“I’d known Jason since first grade, we’d been friends for a while. I’ve always admired him, he’s always treated people with respect and never talked down to anyone, and I’ve always just tried to be like that, be like him. It’s a great honor to get this award,” said Sgt. Szoszorek.

The Belton Award was first given out in 2022, and the city plans to continue to honor police officers each year.